Wineries can soak up a lot of money – as per the popular industry joke “How do you make a million in wine? Answer: Start with two million”. The landscape is littered with vinous vanity projects created by wealthy industrialists, downsizing media tycoons or hollywood stars who can afford to blow fortunes on pipe dreams.
I love Champagne. But whenever I start talking about it, I fear being labelled elitist. But, but… Grower Champagne? And then there are those Champagne enthusiasts who think any other form of effervescent wine inferior. They huff and puff and turn up their noses. I love bubbles regardless. So as a happy compromise, today I
I don’t know if personality can change a wine, but it can change the feel of a harvest. In September I worked on two vendange teams: two days with François Blanchard and five for Baptiste and Olivier Cousin. And though both work with horses, the experiences could not have been more different. First, François Blanchard. François lives
To celebrate the launch of Simon’s Kickstarter campaign for his book Amber Revolution, here’s a German “orange” wine made from Riesling. German Riesling still has an image problem in the UK. And Germany is not the first place that comes to mind for unconventional vinification methods. Sure, there are a minority of winemakers, like Peter Jakob
I’m seeing more and more Romorantin in London and loving it. That’s saying something, with a grand total of only 70 hectares in existence. But what makes it more special is that it happens to produce great wine. Romorantin is grown around the Cour-Cheveny AOC in the Middle Loire, between Orléans and Tours. The Cailloux
Patrick Meyer is the winemaker at the family owned Julien Meyer domaine in Northerly Alsace (Nothalten to be precise). He’s been in the saddle for a while – since 1982 in fact. The domaine has been farmed biodynamically (Demeter certified) since 1985, and Patrick spurns all additives including sulphur. More on that subject later!
There are a small number of winemakers out there who defy any attempt at categorisation, apart from superlatives. Elisabetta Foradori is one. She’s the darling of the Italian biodynamic wine movement, an early convert to amphorae, and a peerless exponent of long skin maceration for white wines. But it feels clumsy to describe Foradori’s output with such limiting terms and techniques.
Right now, amphoras are hip. So is minimal intervention, and extended skin contact for white wines. Diane Iannaccone and Mario Basco of “I Cacciagalli” in Campania do all three, so that makes them super-on trend. Any thoughts that they might be bandwagon jumpers were banished with one taste of their “orange” Fiano, “Zagreo”. It’s an exceptional wine, produced by people who know exactly what they are doing.